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Gen 1 and Gen 2 X-33

First and Second Generation X-33

Omega made two separate production versions of the Speedmaster Professional X-33 in its lifetime. The first version released in 1998 is commonly known as the First Gen X-33 (or at least it was so known following the introduction of its successor) and was given the Omega Product Identification Code (PIC) number 3290.50.00. In 2001 Omega released an updated version of the X-33 now known as the 2nd Gen model, PIC 3291.50.00.

The two versions are mostly similar except for cosmetic changes. Movement and internals are believed to be identical, as are specs and operation. The changes introduced with the 2nd Gen X-33 included:

  • brushed instead of polished bezel
  • bidirectional instead of unidirectional rotating bezel
  • luminous bezel pearl instead of red marker
  • brushed instead of polished pushers
  • modified “concentric” crown design
  • addition of “FLIGHT-QUALIFIED BY NASA FOR SPACE MISSIONS” to caseback engraving
  • duration of the backlight was shortened to 8 sec. to help conserve battery power
  • inside-only instead of double-sided anti-reflective coating to sapphire crystal for durability (on late production models and some replacement crystals)

The two versions are otherwise all but identical. Thought it has never been confirmed by the Omega factory, it is also believed that Omega may also have introduced some changes to the design to address some common complaints like the infamous “collapsing crown” issue, and in fact the new crown design is widely believed to have been introduced for just this reason. However, it may just be that the designers had realized that a traditional knurled crown design was unnecessary if not impractical as the X-33 cannot be “wound” nor is the crown turned during any aspect of operation. As well, the stem of the Gen 1 X-33 is known to fit the Gen 2 crown without modification (see Craig’s Gen 1 to Gen 2 Conversion Guide) so it is quite possible that the internal design was not significantly modified.

The 1st Generation X-33 (PIC 3290.50.00)

Dial

Gen 1 X-33. Note the polished pushers, polished bezel with red marker at :00, and traditional knurled crown design. Photograph courtesy of Fatpants (Alex)

Gen 1 X-33. Note the polished pushers, polished bezel with red marker at :00, and traditional knurled crown design. Photograph courtesy of Fatpants (Alex)

Note the polished steel bezel and pushers, more traditional and conventional knurled crown design, and red bezel marker instead of a luminous bezel pearl seen on later models.

Caseback

Gen 1 Caseback. Note the absence of the “Flight Qualified” engraving. The serial number can also be seen engraved on the underside of the seven o’clock lug, as it is with most modern Omega models. Photograph courtesy of Fatpants (Alex)

Gen 1 Caseback. Note the absence of the “Flight Qualified” engraving. The serial number can also be seen engraved on the underside of the seven o’clock lug, as it is with most modern Omega models. Photograph courtesy of Fatpants (Alex)


The 2nd Generation X-33 (PIC 3291.50.00)

Dial

Note the new crown design, satin-finish brushed pushers and bi-directional bezel (it’s not a dive watch, after all) with luminous bezel pearl.

Note the new crown design, satin-finish brushed pushers and bi-directional bezel (it’s not a dive watch, after all) with luminous bezel pearl.


Caseback

Gen 2 Caseback – Note the addition of the “Flight Qualified by NASA for Space Missions” engraving. Photograph courtesy of MartynJC(UK)

Gen 2 Caseback – Note the addition of the “Flight Qualified by NASA for Space Missions” engraving. Photograph courtesy of MartynJC(UK)


Side view of Gen 2 case. Note the updated crown and brushed-finish steel pushers. Photograph courtesy Expedition Exchange.

Side view of Gen 2 case. Note the updated crown and brushed-finish steel pushers. Photograph courtesyExpedition Exchange.

Time lapse photo of X-33 analog hands and digital display readout. Photograph courtesy of MartynJC(UK)

Time lapse photo of X-33 analog hands and digital display readout. Photograph courtesy of MartynJC(UK)

Note how Martyn’s really excellent time exposure photo shows the individual 1-second “ticks” of the second hand as well as how the X-33’s “jumping” minute hand jumps in discrete half-minute increments. While fake X-33’s are uncommon this is an easy way to spot them as the fakes typically don’t bother to mimic this unusual and difficult-to-replicate feature. The hour hand is continuous.

Backlight

Gen 2 X-33 with electroluminesent backlight activated.

Gen 2 X-33 with electroluminesent backlight activated. Photograph courtesy of Zaphod @ WUS

Lume Performance

Note how the lumed portions of the hour and minute hands are of similar shape and size, which can make legibility a problem in low-light situations. Otherwise the Superluminova luminous material is satisfyingly bright and visible. Photo courtesy of MartynJC(UK)

Note how the lumed portions of the hour and minute hands are of similar shape and size, which can make legibility a problem in low-light situations. Otherwise the Superluminova luminous material is satisfyingly bright and visible. Photo courtesy of MartynJC(UK)

Note how the lumed portions of the hour and minute hands are of similar shape and size, which can make legibility a problem in low-light situations. Otherwise the Superluminova luminous material is satisfyingly bright and visible.
Photo courtesy of MartynJC(UK)

Inside the Case

Caseback, dustcover, and battery removed. Photograph courtesy of Frank_be

Caseback, dustcover, and battery removed. Photograph courtesy of Frank_be

Cal. 1666 movement partially extracted from the case for better viewing – note the attempt at basic Côtes de Genève (”Geneva stripes”) decoration, seldom seen on quartz movements. Photograph courtesy of Frank_be

Cal. 1666 movement partially extracted from the case for better viewing – note the attempt at basic Côtes de Genève (”Geneva stripes”) decoration, seldom seen on quartz movements. Photograph courtesy of Frank_be

Inside Gen 1 Caseback. Photograph courtesy Akiyose.com

Inside Gen 1 Caseback. Photograph courtesy Akiyose.com


Bracelet and Straps

Omega titanium bracelet and Speedmaster Professional clasp. Photograph courtesy of Fatpants (Alex)

Omega titanium bracelet and Speedmaster Professional clasp. Photograph courtesy of Fatpants (Alex)


Gen 2 X-33 on the original version Omega double-ridged black Kevlar strap. This double-ridged design was subsequently replaced by the now more common flat design seen above. Photograph courtesy of ancaru30

Gen 2 X-33 on the original version Omega double-ridged black Kevlar strap. This double-ridged design was subsequently replaced by the now more common flat design seen above. Photograph courtesy of ancaru30


Omega X-33 on Red Kevlar strap. Photograph courtesy of HercDriver @ Ω TZ

Omega X-33 on Red Kevlar strap. Photograph courtesy of HercDriver


Black Omega Kevlar strap Photograph courtesy of John Wilson (JW)

Black Omega Kevlar strap Photograph courtesy of John Wilson (JW)


>>> Proceed to Part 3 – X-33 History >>>


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